Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm out

This will be my last post for at least a week.  If you are one who prays, please add us to your list.  Both of us flying together and being out of state without the three kids has me all in a dither all of a sudden.  I'm nervous as hell.

On the bright side, and there is always a bright side, I don't have to do laundry! or serve meals! or give anyone else a bath! until next Friday.  Huge love to Chris for encouraging me to spend the week after the wedding with mom doing our summer travelling while he comes home to be a SAHD for the week.  

Have a great week, my friends.  And please, prayers and good thoughts for a safe trip would be much appreciated.  I totally believe in stuff like that.

Oh, and...


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Is this safe? Oh, crap.

*This is a repost from last year but I thought it appropriate since we're having our 4th of July party next week.  Just a teaser as to how we roll.

It always makes me laugh that people think being married to a firefighter is all shits and giggles. It's not. I mean, the schedule is great. And I know that if Lauren chokes on a Hot Wheel she's going to survive. And he's super strong and handy around the house. Ok, so maybe it's better than I originally thought. Oh, but wait. There is that whole pyro thing. Yeah, that takes points away from the whole deal. Inherently firefighters just have a love of fire. Not just putting them out, but also starting one, watching it, experimenting. I'm not talking about destructive fires. He may be curious but he's not dumb. You know how little boys like to just make a mess and play and experiement and watch how things turn out? Like that. But done by a grown man. And with fire.

This was on the 4th of July this year. William, only 2 years old, took cover in the car. He loves fireworks like he loves firetrucks and Santa - from afar. He wanted to watch but didn't want to be close. Turns out, as usual, William was the smartest person in this whole scenario. Our neighbors were out to watch the show. Why? Well, because Chris is a firefighter and they know that he's a pyro and that he's capable of handling whatever may happen to occur. Chris's antics and confidence around fire makes me very nervous, although you'd never know it by my voice in this video.

Oh, and in this video, the launcher is homemade. Yep, like he-went-to-Home-Depot-and-bought-pipe-for- this kinda thing.

If you're interested in attending the Peters Firework Extravaganza next year just let me know. Maybe William will make room for you in the car.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

snarky dog

I have lived my whole life in the central valley.  100* temperatures are more normal than not during at least 3 months out of the year.  I was a lifeguard for many years and sat my ass in the 100* sun for 8 hours a day.  Now, I can't tolerate the heat.  I'm unsure what happened.  Every year that passes I just have a harder and harder time with it.  Like an old snarky dog.  I think the tipping point for me was having a 15 month old and being 8 months pregnant and doing all that I did in the 100* heat.  I swore off loving summer after that and I have yet to regain my affection for it.

Here in the central valley we have a dry heat.  Going back east every summer I'm very familiar with the opposite of that which is hell on earth humidity.  In the heat AND humidity I am like an old snarky dog who can bitch.  I turn into this diva, this drama queen, who acts as if I am the only one who is feeling or being affected by my surroundings.  It's awful and in the moment I'm aware of my behavior but I have a hard time keeping a lid on it.  "Oh, my God.  It's so freaking hottttt."  That becomes my mantra, as if I have to announce it so others become aware of it. 

We are going to Atlanta in two days.  The weather forecast is calling for thunderstorms and NINETY TWO degrees for today, tomorrow, and the next day.  Then we show up.  To NINETY FIVE degrees.  Doesn't that sound lovely?  I'm terrified.  I've already decided that in addition to my first goal for this trip (enjoy being away from the kids), my next goal is going to be to NEVER speak the words, "Oh, my God.  It's so freaking hottttt."  I'll let you know how I do when I get back.

I saw this commercial and this is not me when I'm hungry, this is me when I'm hot.  I turn into Aretha Franklin.  A big ol' snarky dog.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kids ruined the au naturel thing I had going

I am blonde.  Or I was blonde.  During my pregnancy with Drew my hair started getting darker.  I was horrified.  I was always so proud of the fact that I was a natural blonde, even at age 30.  Then after William was born I actually had a person at the grocery store say, "Where did his white hair come from since you have brown hair?"  Oh, snap.  I almost took that grocery checker out.  And so my decision was made.  I was going to get my hair did for the first time ever.  It was a huge step because I was the only I knew who hadn't done that yet.  Never had a perm, never dye or highlights, no ears piereced... untouched.  

Now instead of having drab brown kids-ruined-my-blonde hair, I have I-sit-for-3-hours-every-8-weeks blonde hair, with some iced tea colored highlights.  I call it youth restoration.  Still no ear piercing, though.  Not until some grocery store employee insults my earlobes, anyway. 


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sleep, I am blessed

I love sleep more than my own children.  Ok, I'm exaggerating, but not by much.  This was my only concern when I was pregnant with my first.  Sleep.  If I didn't get what I needed or wanted how would I survive?  I mean, how would I survive?  As a newly pregnant mom you get all kinds of advice and stories and most consist of how little sleep you'll get.  I was determined to be different.  My children would sleep, God damnit.  I had a plan.

Well, it ended up that either my plan worked (unlikely) or I was given children who have the sleep gene like I have.  All of my kids are sleepers.  I would like to take some credit - I work hard to keep a strict sleep schedule which begins at 5 months of age and it never waivers after that.  Naps and bedtime are at the same time every. single. day (among other things).  It works for me.  It works for our lifestyle.  I have sacrificed lots of outings because of it but the pay off has been HUGE.  I plop them down in their crib or bed and that's it.  Like, for reals.  There is no discussion, no crying, no nothing.  It's sleep time.  I kiss, turn around, close the door, and don't hear from anyone for 10 hours (or 12 if it's Lauren).  Every night. 

This video makes me laugh out loud.  I just can't even imagine.  I know some parents go to great ridiculous lengths to ensure sleep and trust me, if my kids weren't so well trained when it comes to sleep I would have done the same.  I guess that's why it makes me laugh.  The desperation level is so high here and it's visible.  Love it.  

It's worth watching all the way through...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My baby daddy

Thank you to:



and Lauren

for allowing him to become the best daddy I've ever known.  How incredibly lucky our kids are to have him as their daddy.  And how incredibly lucky I am to be a part of it all.  Thanks, Chris, for all you do.  We love you to the moon and back.

Happy Father's Day to all today. 

Kidless vacation

This morning I had homemade blueberry muffins and strawberries for breakfast at home with Drew, William, and Lauren.  A week from today I'll be having breakfast (which I don't have to make or clean up after) at the W hotel in Atlanta with my family.  And by family I mean with Chris, my brother, sister-in-law, my niece, my 2 cousins, aunt, uncle, and mom.  Notice I didn't mention the kids?

My cousin, David, and his fiancee Teni are getting married on June 27th.  Chris and I are joining them to celebrate and I can't wait.  Love weddings, love them, so excited for them and this time in their lives.

While we're at the wedding, Chris's parents will be caring for the kids.  Huge thanks to them for that!  After the wedding, Chris is coming home to be with the kids while mom and I continue on to Boston and Connecticut.  I missed going to Boston last summer because I was at home nursing Lauren but this year I'm free!  I have such mixed feelings about leaving everyone for so long, though.  I know - it's good for them, good for me, good for Chris, blah, blah, blah, but Friday to Friday is a long time.  What will I do without having to open an applesauce or pour a glass of milk for someone for 7 whole days?  Mom may be in for an adventure with me.  I may even cut her meat at dinner.

As the trip gets closer, I am trying to worry less about leaving my kids and just looking forward to spending time with just Chris as we travel, meeting Jennie's new love, seeing my aunt, enjoying the wedding, and then doing my annual summer travels with my mom.  It's all good.

Photo courtesy of project duo photography in Atlanta

Huge congrats to David and Teni.  Looking forward to celebrating with you.  xoxo

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer project

Summer is in full swing and we're having a great time.  As you know I was petrified to have them home all day everday.  Bickering is their favorite hobby and I knew I'd go apeshit by the end of June if we didn't get creative and stay busy.  So far it's actually been really great.  Lauren has changed from a smiley, sleeping baby into this smiley, sleeping toddler it seems.  She plays on the couch by herself safely, she mimics me when I brush my teeth, if I hand her a brush she'll brush her own hair, and she's calling me "Mama".  Drew and William just completed 2 weeks of swim lessons and they've made really great progress.  We attend our last music class tomorrow.  We've gone to a couple birthday parties already.  It's just been busy and fun and yes, full of kid-bickering, but I think I'm becoming immune to some of it.  I honestly thought it would kill me before I became immune to it but I was wrong.  For THAT I am grateful. 

My friend Katrina posted a picture on facebook of these slimy little larvae and the title was "Our Butterfly Garden".  I wrote to her immediately to find out where she got them.  I thought that this is what we needed this summer, a fun project like this.  I knew the kids would LOVE it and along the way it would give them things to look up on the computer, a great topic to find books about at the library etc.  Katrina wrote me right back and within minutes I had ordered our own butterfly garden.  The 10 larvae arrived on our doorstep 5 days later.  Here is a progression of what we've seen so far: 

What we found on our doorstep

Day 1

Proud daddy and mommy

Day 4

Day 7 - the chrysalides have formed, time to hang them up in our butterfly pavillion!

Creepy, right?

We're expecting the chrysalides to hatch in the next 2 days and by the looks of it we'll have 9 painted lady butterflies.  Drew can't wait to pick flowers for them and to feed them watermelon and sugar water.  The process has been so much fun and the kids have loved it.  One bonus is that everyday there has been such a visible change that it's perfect for kids this age.  Sometimes it was really different from the time they woke up to the time they went to bed.  That makes for a perfect little kid project.  And for reals, it's nice that something is being born in this house and it's not coming from me.  I'll update when the butterflies make their appearance.  I sure hope we don't miss it when it happens.

You can order them here if you're interested.  Again, big thanks to Katrina!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New format *updated*

I reformatted my blog but I'm unsure about it.  I don't like change but I was getting tired of looking at the old one.  Any suggestions are welcome.  And yes, I know the title is over William's face.  I can't figure out how to change that.  Poor William. 

*Update!  Thanks so much to Amanda at 4Molnars for helping to save William from being suffocated by the title of my blog.  *SMOOCH*

Monday, June 14, 2010


Division of labor - noun, a production process in which a worker or group of workers is assigned a specialized task in order to increase efficiency.

We have a rythym of how things work in our house and as I was driving home from the kids' swim lessons today I was thinking about how great it is when the rythym is uninterrupted for long periods of time.  Because I'm such a schedule Nazi, not many things interrupt things here but the two most common ones are when we have overnight guests or someone gets sick.  On those occasions I don't do my normal tasks and neither does Chris and it's just a bit off.  It's a nice diversion once in a while.  Other than that we're in a good smooth groove all the time.  And not to say that overnight guests are bad, they are not at all, we enjoy having company.  But you know what I mean.  We're working like a well-oiled machine here when things happen as they should.  And by that I mean as they always do.  Creature of habit, I am.    

Chris and I have this unspoken division of labor that works fantastically for us.  We just know who is going to do what when and we rarely discuss it.  Whether it's a doctor appt. for one of the kids or giving this little one a bath or folding towels that are piled on the chair or getting gas, things just happen.  And they happen smoothly.  This is essential for a happy household, don't you think?  You know when the rythym of the house is off because it's a lot of things not getting taken care of or resentment because HE was supposed to have done this or I wasn't aware I was supposed to have done that.  Right?  You just know when it's off and often take for granted when it's good.  We've been in a good rythym for a long, long time now and it's so nice Division of labor and cooperation is a good thing.  Especially when it's uspoken.  Makes you feel even more connected to that person you call Honey.


Sunday, June 13, 2010


Her room.  The hallway.  The light.  The dark.  The stairs.  The bathroom.  The garage.  The laundry room.  The walk-in pantry.  Drew is afraid of all of these things.  It's not monsters or spiders or whatever else may possibly lurk there, she's just scared.  "What are you afraid of?"  "I'm just scared."  It's awful because if it was one thing I could remedy that, or at least try.  I'm creative and patient, I could do that.  But the general I'm scared I can't do anything about.  This isn't a really new problem, I blogged about it back in October.  Now it's constant and worse, though. 

Sleeping in our bed is not an option.  The kids sleep with us on very rare occasions and it's very special.  If being scared warrants a night in our bed then we'd have a permanent companion in bed and that's just not going to happen.  Our bed is our bed.  I'm not willing to break the crack addiction (sleeping with us) so we're just not going there.  She can sleep on our floor.  She can sleep on the couch.  She can sleep in the hallway.  And she has.  She's actually never asked to come into our bed but I know if I suggested it she'd jump at the chance and the nonsense of being scared would be over.  I shouldn't say nonsense.  It's very real to her and I know that.  I try and stay patient.  It's very frustrating, though.

I appreciate all the suggestions I've received and I think I've tried every single one of them.  The only one we haven't tried is having William and Drew sleep in the same room.  My friend, Lacy, suggested that and it may be a solution.  William often asks to go to bed about 15 minutes before bedtime.  He wants his blinds pulled and his door closed.  He's often asleep before I even have Drew's pj's on.  He's just ready for sleep by 7:45pm.  I'm not sure he'd be thrilled with a visitor.  And I don't want Drew to become dependent on him, either.  It's a good suggestion, though, and one we may try in the next few nights.

I used to be a 'fraidy cat and I can remember how awful it was to just be scared.  I'm hoping this passes soon.  For her sake and ours. 

Here she is, tonight.  Off to put her in her own bed.  It's likely that within the hour she'll be back down sleeping on the couch.  Honestly?  I'd be way freaked out to sleep on the couch in the dark by myself and I'm a grown up. If she only knew how awesome and not-scary her room was.  Instead she sleeps 3x a week in the room that has the most windows AND the fireplace.  Ugh, no thanks....

Pretty girl on the stairs
Oh, and the phone?  So she could call daddy if she got too scared.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Someone is sitting in MY chair

Growing up we always ate dinner together at the table.  Brandon sat there, mom sat there, and I sat there.  Every night.  We never switched seats.  To this day, when I go home, I sit in my seat.

We eat dinner most nights at our table.  Only no one but me seems to think it's important that we have our own seats.  I have to be honest, I have laid claim to one particular seat and I've made it known.  Yet, as I serve the meal and find myself the last to be seated, my seat is often taken.  I've mentioned many times that we need to have our own seats and place at the table but no one seems to think so.  And by no one I mean Chris.  I love my kids but they certainly don't call the shots.  Especially a big one like this.  After tonight's meal when William was sitting in my seat I decided that I'm throwing the hammer down.  I can't have it.  There is security in knowing that that is your seat at your kitchen table, am I right?  Or crazy?  (Chris, you are not allowed to respond.)

Where the hell is Matt?

I heard about this guy and his story a few years ago.  I loved it and followed his story for a little while.  I haven't thought of it in a long time until William started dancing to "Grease Lightning" today.  I thought, "I've seen that dance before."  It dawned on me that it was very similar to the dance Matt does.  I decided to look it up again and share it with you just in case you hadn't ever seen it before.

You can read his story here.  It doesn't matter whether you watch the clip below or read the blurb about him first.  It's awesome either way.

*If the video clip is cut off half way, click here instead to see it.  Really, it's worth it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Over it

  • I said french toast first
  • I beat you to breakfast
  • I have more milk than you
  • Stop talking!  It's my turn!
  • Lauren doesn't like you as much as she likes me
  • You can't put your own shirt on 'cause it's inside out
  • I got my shoes out of the basket first
  • When I turn 6 I don't need a carseat and you'll only be 4 so you will
  • Your sunglasses are broken and mine aren't
  • Mommy put more chocolate bits in my trail mix than in yours
  • I'm not helping you pick those up 'cause you were unkind to me this morning
OMFG.  This was all before 9am today.  You'd never know that I promote kindness! and manners! and love! in our house, would you?  I wish I'd known when I was teaching that not all idiot kids come from idiot parents.  I listened to Drew and William bicker at one point and really thought, "Who are you?"  I model all day long.  ALL. DAY. LONG.  This morning I just let them bicker and fight and resolve and say unkind things and cry and deal with it on their own.  I'm proud to report that they are both still alive.  And so am I.  

Thursday, June 10, 2010

She's heeeeere!

I say she because it's pretty.  Therefore it's a she.

  Huge thanks to Chris who went out the day after my computer died and bought a new one for me.  I know that's a luxury.  It's pure self preservation on his part completely disguised as generous husbandy stuff.  He knows if I don't have my mom and girlfriends to email everyday that I'll talk to him that much more.  If you don't know Chris, this makes him sound like an asshole.  If you know him, you get it.  

I'll be back on daily now.  Looking forward to it.   

Super Mario Brothers, old school

This is dedicated to Susan and Brandon.  We totally kicked ass at this game and spent as many hours playing this during the summer as we did swimming, and that's saying something.  Just the song brings back happy memories.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Can you read this?

OMG - I've been sans computer for quite a few days now and it sucks.  Well, I've been on Drew's laptop but that has ZERO capabilities so I can't do anything but read my email in this enormous font that we can't seem to change.  Anyway, here I am sneaking onto Chris's computer (he's not a complete dictator but our CPR business is run from this machine and he seems to think I have fingers that kill electronics so I'm not allowed on this one.  He's giving the kids a bath right now so I am sneaking...) to update my blog. 

Lots going on with the kids and with my family right now but I'll keep it quick for two reasons.  I'm tired and I'm breaking the law by being on this machine.  I saw this and thought it was funny.  Wanted to share with you, my friends.  I'll be back in a few days. 

Courtesy of Heroin Chic

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's lost its magic. Or something like that.

My computer is sick.  Or dead.  Or has a jacked up battery.  I have no idea.  I can turn one off and on, dowload pics, blog, do fb, email, and shop.  Beyond that I have absolutely no idea how the hell they work.  I'll stick to my go-to answer for all things mechanic and scientific and say it's just magic.  The magic in my laptop has been lost.  I was typing earlier and it just shut off.  I did one of those things where you look around, pick it up, look at the bottom, put it back down, and turn it on again.  It turned on for about 5 seconds and then died before it even showed anything on the screen.  This is all while plugged in so I'm pretty sure that eliminates the battery, right?  See, this is why I need Chris.  If it was just me, I'd have been at Best Buy 30 minutes later throwing down cash for a new one.  Chris will no doubt spend the next week tinkering with it and probably fixing it.  Well, regardless, it's sick.  Or dead.  I may not be able to blog as regularly for the next week or so (until he's done tinkering or until I get a new one).  Chris's desktop is one that I am banned from because in all my computer, cell phone, and camera deaths it seems I am the common denominator.  Therefore, I'm not allowed on his desktop.  Whatever, Chris.  Your computer is too fast for me anyway.  I like them slow with a shitload of programs I don't use on them. 

Poor, poor computer

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's getting hot, let the battle begin

Chris and I play this unspoken game.  Not game really, it's a battle.  A game implies fun.  There is no fun in this.  And there are no rules because we've never actually spoken about it but we do this for 4 months out of the year.  I like to call it Thermostat War.  I guess one good thing about his crazy schedule is that he's not home a whole lot and therefore by default I win.  When he is home, though, it's on

It usually starts with him coming home from work and finding the house at a really comfortable 74*.  He mumbles something and I can hear him tap the thermostat five times - tap,tap,tap,tap,tap.  He's put the temperature on the air conditioner from 74* up to 79*.  I just snicker and wait for him to go tinker in the garage or go to his office to do work.  He hasn't mastered the silent tapping of the thermostat yet.  Oh yes, Chris.  There is strategy in this war.  And I use it to all my advantage.  I tap the thermostat lightly, I close off his office vent half way so that while he's working in there, he doesn't notice that I've turned the air back down.  Strategy.  Round 1 - Ashley.  He comes out of his office, mumbles something when he walks in the comfortably cool kitchen, then turns and heads right for the thermostat.  Tap,tap,tap,tap,tap.  Silly boy.  He may win if he learned a little strategy. 

It's been a while since I've spent a summer not nursing or not pregnant so maybe the fact that neither is the case this year I won't find the need to be comfortable at 74* and will be able to compromise with him on a higher temp.  But then we won't have this great battle.  I'm not sure I wanna give it up.  I love winning and in Thermostat War I'm the champ.  Our PG&E bill proves it. *wink,wink*

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Not up for discussion this time

Lauren is 15 months old tomorrow. This age scares me because this is the age when I approach Chris and I'm all, "Um, so wouldn't it be so awesome if we had another baby?"  And he looks at me like this: 

The only difference this time is that it's not going to happen.  I'm really bummed about that and even though I knew from her conception that Lauren was our last, I really have a hard time dealing with that.  I'm good at babies.  I have happy babies.  I have sleeping babies. 

During my pregnancy with William I had some vein issues which manifested themselves in my right ankle.  I have what they call an incompetent valve in my groin which allows the blood to kind of pool in my ankle.  It just wasn't strong enough to push the blood back up to where it needed to go.  Being pregnant the second time really made it show its incompetency.  My ankle became bruised looking and it hurt like a bruise.  Nothing all that big, really.  My OB suggested that I probably not think about having a third baby.  "Oh, really?  Ok.  Yeah, we probably won't."  Fast forward 15 months and that's when I approached Chris and we discussed number 3 giving no thought to the vein issue. 

I won't go into detail about how awful it got during my pregnancy with Lauren but it was pretty bad.  And pretty dangerous.  I had a 9 pound baby sitting on top of that incompetent valve which made things painful and ugly and dangerous.  Here's a picture of my leg and ankle in January, at just 7 months pregnant.  Thank goodness my modeling days were already over.  It's better now but still discolored some and painful on some days.  Surgery is my future.  I don't really want to walk around with a blown-out tire for the rest of my life. 

Ok, now that I've totally grossed you out, you can see why baby #4 is never going to be an option.  I'm fortunate that the fertility Gods smiled down on us 3 times, each exactly when we'd asked for them to.  And as my friend Melissa once suggested, 4 may not even feel like enough.  At some point you just have to stop.  I think 3 is like, "Wow, you've got three?  That's great.  You must be tired."  At 4 kids I think people are thinking you just need a get a TV in your bedroom or something.

Sooo, happy 15 months, baby girl.  Can't believe it's been 15 months already.  Time sure flies when you're having fun.



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